Operation Idiopathic Decline
This project is the Foundation’s most ambitious undertaking to date and represents the first comprehensive review of disease in quail. Following a sudden plummet of quail populations in the Rolling Plains in the fall of 2010, RPQRF urgently assembled a team ten scientists from four universities to investigate the drop in quail numbers. The science team spread out over 35 counties in West Texas and Oklahoma and studied the influence of pathogens, parasites, bacterial diseases, toxins, pesticides, landscape conditions and environmental factors on quail. Upon the conclusion of these investigations and sampling more than 2,600 quail, two parasites – eyeworms and caecal worms – stood out as serious threats to our wild quail populations. Accordingly, we funded additional studies to better understand how parasites adversely impact bobwhites.